Proposed turbines in Shelby don’t fit area with many residents, wildlife

Posted 19 September 2022 at 12:07 pm


Giant wind turbines in Shelby. Let’s be clear, these are not the windmills seen on family farms or the wind turbines seen while traveling through the southern tier.

These giant wind turbines would be 633 feet tall, located less than ½ mile south of the Tops Plaza, on a ridge line 75 to 100 feet higher than most of the Town of Shelby or the Village of Medina. That means to observers they will appear be over 700 feet tall.

As a matter of scale, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, mature maple trees 50 to 75 feet tall and those wind turbines in Sheldon, NY are under 400 feet.

These turbines proposed by Borrego Energy would be taller than anything in NYS and only Texas has anything this size. A large Texas turbine that is not located anywhere near a populated area. Google map it at 3700 East Nance Rd, Canyon, TX 79015 and click here to see a construction video.


Visual – Most of us have chosen to live in this area because of friends, family and the small-town rural setting, beautiful country side, free from high rises and massive industrial developments.

Some have been fortunate enough to find jobs locally while many commute to Rochester or Buffalo, but remain here to live. Thanks to the hard work and vision of some, downtown Medina has seen a resurgence, becoming a destination for its quaint architecture, wonderful restaurants and shops. These industrial giants will intrude on everyday living and stain the quality of life here, for the benefit of one family.

Wildlife – We have the great fortune to live in a place of natural beauty and resources. Many of us hunt, fish, photograph, hike, canoe or kayak or otherwise enjoy our surrounding. A few miles to the south, is the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas, home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, listed as threatened by the DEC and not the only species of concern that reside here.

We are part of the Mid-Atlantic flyway, a major migration path for geese, swans, cranes and the occasional golden eagle. Make no mistake, these turbines will be responsible for bird kills. It’s a shame to think that when our eagle population has grown and stabilized, we choose to put a rotating blades, up to 633 feet high, in their environment.

Noise – Wind turbines make noise that changes with wind conditions and blade angle. I don’t know how loud these will be, but I can tell you that the town supervisor in Sheldon said that it sometimes drives him and his wife off their patio, retreating indoors.

Flicker – Located south of town the turbine blades will cause a flicker at certain times of the year and day. In a previous letter to the editor Karen Jones included a link to a YouTube video.  The company has done a flicker study which I’m hoping to see. However, using a SunCalc software it would appear that some residences on 31 and on Furness Parkway will be in the flicker zone.

I’ve reached the word limit allowed here. My next letter will outline thoughts on a way forward.

Jim Heminway